May 16th, 2006

Interview with Parents Television Council Exec

Recently, GamePolitics reported on a compilation video of scenes from violent video games which Missouri State Rep. Jeff Harris (sponsor of HB1467) used to great effect at hearings before the Public Safety Committee of the Missouri House.

Hoping to see the video for ourselves, GamePolitics did a little digging and learned that the video used by Harris had been provided by the Parents Television Council. While declining to release the video to GP, the PTC's Gavin McKiernan agreed to be interviewed by GP correspondent Andrew Eisen.

AE: Tell us a bit about yourself, the PTC, and what you do there.

GM: I am the National Grassroots Director for the PTC. I coordinate our volunteer activists around the country. The PTC is the nation's largest advocacy group protecting children from sex, violence and profanity in the media. Our primary goal is to educate people on the state of today's media and to provide tools for parents at no cost to help them make the best media decisions for their family. We hope that once they are well informed, people will want to become active and voice their opinion on the state of media today.

AE: What's the story behind the violent games video that Missouri Rep. Jeff Harris used at the hearing a few weeks ago? Who proposed its creation and who actually put it together? How were specific games or game scenes chosen for the video?
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IEMA Webmaster Passes Away Suddenly

GamePolitics received some tragic news from IEMA president Hal Halpin this morning. Hal reports that Patrick O'Halloran, IEMA Webmaster, died over the weekend.

Patrick, who was a regular GP reader, experienced some type of seizure, slipped into a coma and died. He had just turned 21.

Hal tells us that "Pat came to the IEMA as a high school intern through a work-study program and taught himself programming and design. He was responsible for the,, and websites in addition to our ecommerce initiatives. An avid gamer, Pat was a fan of and took pride in posting articles related to the association on our website. The IEMA staff is only five persons large, so we're a tight-knit group and the loss was poignant. He will be missed."

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Player Protests U.S. War Losses with Army's Own Recruiting Game

A war game might seem like an odd place to stage an antiwar protest.

But that's exactly the venue chosen by Joseph DeLappe, an associate professor at the University of Nevada at Reno. DeLappe, who describes himself as a visual artist, has been logging into the popular online game America's Army under the screen name "dead in iraq."

America's Army is a first-person shooter with a modern military theme developed in the late 1990's by the U.S. Army as a recruiting tool. The PC version has been given away for free for several years and the game is quite popular among online gamers. There are almost certainly soldiers fighting in Iraq - and perhaps dying there - whose decision to volunteer was influenced in some way by America's Army.

In March of this year DeLappe began joining online matches. He doesn't play the game, however. He simply uses the game's chat interface to type in the name, rank and date of death of U.S. military personnel killed in the Iraq conflict. When his avatar is killed, he simply waits for the next round to begin and continues to enter the names of the dead.

DeLappe's goal is to eventually enter the name of every service member lost in the war. As of late April he had input more than 250 names. He has a long way to go. CNN listed the U.S. military death toll as 2,427 on May 12th.

DeLappe calls his project "essentially a fleeting, online memorial to those military personnel who have been killed in this ongoing conflict. My actions are also intended as a cautionary gesture."

Terra Nova has an excellent discussion of the dead in iraq project.

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